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If You’ve Used Google’s Universal Analytics, Take This Action Now!

A shot of the Google Analytics website©Inbj/123RF

As of now, Google’s Universal Analytics is no longer collecting data and time’s running out for you to save what’s already collected! 

I’ve used Google Analytics to measure this blog’s performance since I moved it to its own domain back in 2007. Last year, Google introduced a new version, Google Analytics 4, to replace what was then Universal Analytics.

I liked Universal Analytics. It made finding things relatively easy. I hate Google Analytics 4. GA4 makes finding thing information you’d gotten used to finding from UA seem like the ultimate challenge.

But we have no choice but to make the switch if we were going to continue using Google Analytics. Google made it clear that UA would stop working on July 1 of this year.

Since we’ve now reached that ominous date, anyone who hadn’t already made the switch is no longer getting numbers.

More importantly, there’s only a little amount of time to save the data it’s already collected before it disappears forever! In fact, if you haven’t done it already, it might already be too late. (But different sources suggest there will still be a bit of an extension — maybe a week or so — before Google actually deletes your UA data.)

I tried to export what I could

In trying to export old data, I learned something valuable: Google’s help pages are of almost no help. It tells you to look for things in places where they don’t exist. It suggests you take steps that you can’t take because you can’t find the settings to accomplish them.

I think I was able to export what I need to export in order to compare my numbers this year with the data Universal Analytics collected for the first half of 2023. I think I got everything.

Unlike the old version, this new version only keeps data for 14 months.

All of the changes are based on new privacy regulations being implemented around the world.

Hey, I get privacy concerns these days. I respect privacy.

At the same time, as a website owner, I need to be able to see how my site is performing. That shouldn’t take compromising anyone’s privacy. I just need to know how many people are visiting, what posts they’re reading, and how long they’re sticking around. I don’t need any information on specific people. All I need is totals.

That shouldn’t require jumping through so many hoops.

After all, I didn’t change any privacy regulations. I didn’t make Google ditch Universal Analytics in favor of GA4.

Google ought to be smart enough to make the transfer of data from one to the other automatic. Short of that, they should make the process easy to understand.

So I give you this advice: If you’ve been using Universal Analytics and you haven’t transferred your data, do it right now. Google doesn’t make it nearly as simple as it should be. You need to act now and give yourself time to navigate through their help pages and hope you can make sense of them!

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.

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